Last year my wife and I attended The Affordable Art Fair in New York City, and we were both drawn to the work of Karen Fitzgerald. Her work is dominated by gold leaf and as we got talking, she mentioned that she occasionally taught workshops in gilding. I gave her my card and asked her to let me know when the next one was. My wife also bought one of her paintings.
I myself have been gilding for some time but am entirely self-taught in this medium. So, when Karen sent out the announcement that she was soon hosting a workshop in her studio, I jumped at the chance to go. Last week I found myself in the Big Apple checking in to the Paper Factory Hotel nearby, so I could get to her studio the next morning for the workshop.
This class was so informative! Karen had great advice on where to source supplies (something that is getting more difficult to do), types of leaf, sizes (adhesives), and techniques. Though we did not deal with some of the older, more medieval methods (involving things like rabbit skin glue or honey and beer), we covered many traditional techniques as well as more modern approaches on a variety of surfaces. Karen’s passion for gold leaf as a medium is contagious, and her positive willingness to share made the demonstrations and discussion lively and engaging.
I’ve already ordered some supplies, and very soon I plan to make some improved versions of paintings like the one below.